Last week, I reported on the need for more therapists in Atlanta who speak languages other than English.
This week I learned that Ser Familia, a non profit that provides counseling to Latinx families in metro Atlanta, has seen a 35% increase in depression and severe anxiety cases since COVID hit, a 17% increase in cases with suicide ideation, and a 40% increase in domestic violence calls.
This is obviously a real problem.
The good news is, there are some avenues of support if you're looking for emotional/mental/behavioral support (as I mentioned last week, it's not always clear what to call this), and prefer or need to speak to someone in your native tongue or from a similar background to you.
Finding out what's available and how to access it often requires patience and time for bureaucracy. I sent the emails, left voicemails, and spoke to people at different agencies and here’s what I discovered:
If you need immediate mental health support, you can call the Georgia Crisis and Access Line (GCAL) at 1-800-715-4225. It's a 24 hour hotline and a licensed clinician will answer the phone. They have access to interpreters. The woman I spoke to said “I don’t think there’s been a time when we couldn’t find someone (an interpreter)...and it doesn’t take very long.” COST: Free.
If you’ve been emotionally impacted by COVID (who hasn’t?), there’s a Georgia COVID-19 Emotional Support Line that you can call or text anytime between 8am and 11pm, at (866) 399-8938. They will help you find support in your local community and they teach stress management techniques over the phone. The woman I spoke to there said most of their callers speak English, but if they speak Spanish, they have access to a tool that helps with translation. COST: Free.
COMMUNITY CARE OPTIONS
The Center for Pan Asian Community Services's Cosmo Health Center, located in Norcross, offers counseling and therapy services in multiple languages including Spanish, Korean, Burmese and Nepali. If any additional languages are needed, they also have access to interpreters. They provide counseling for depression, anger management, anxiety, domestic violence, and substance abuse. To make a virtual or on site appointment, call 678-749-0306 anytime between 9am and 5pm. COST: Income based sliding scale: the first assessment is $45 and all follow up appointments are between $35-$55. There is also a counselor who works on Saturdays who accepts insurance.
Ser Familia is a non profit that provides counseling in Spanish for Latinx families. It’s free and the woman I spoke to there, Migdalia, emphasized that they “don’t ask about documentation,” but they do need some form of photo ID. Their approach to counseling is family-centered, “if one person in the family is assaulted...it’s not just the person assaulted who’s impacted, the whole family suffers from trauma,” she said. All counseling is on site, and they have offices in Suwanee, Norcross, Smyrna, and Kennesaw. To make an appointment, call 678-363-3079. COST: Free
SPECIALIZED SUPPORT FOR SURVIVORS OF VIOLENCE
Raksha is a South Asian community organization that provides culturally sensitive counseling to adults and children who are survivors of domestic violence, crime, sexual assault, or trafficking. Therapists at Raksha speak Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, and Arabic. All counseling sessions are currently virtual. Call 1-866-725-7423 to set up an initial counseling assessment. COST: Free, availability based on capacity and needs assessment.
Noor Family Services is a non-profit that supports immigrants and refugee survivors of domestic violence. The staff speak multiple languages including Arabic and Urdu, and if assistance is needed in other languages they have access to interpreters. Call (470) 589-7751, weekdays 9AM-5PM, if you’re a survivor of domestic violence and are looking for counseling or legal support. COST: Free.
The Center for Victims of Torture, based in Clarkston, supports asylum seekers and refugees who are survivors of torture. CVT offers a holistic model of care that prioritizes “the need to heal in mind, body, and spirit.” They have access to interpreters in multiple languages. Call 470-545-2776 to find out more information. COST: Free.
If you’re looking for a therapist who “gets you,” who you don’t have to explain cultural stuff to, check out this incredible directory of Asian Mental Health Professionals of Georgia. You can search clinicians by ethnicity, specialty, and location.
There’s also a similar directory for Hispanic mental health professionals, but it’s a little clunky to navigate.
There are more resources available - but these are the ones I found accessible and was able to establish contact with relatively easily. If you know of any additional resources, please feel free to include them in the comments or send me a note at email@example.com.